wireless phones

Grimace and the Secret Sauce

The weather has been sun-tastic this week, and i thoroughly love it. Sometimes i think i may need to try living in southern Cali for a time, if only to experience the free, instant mood-altering effects of a sunny day on a more regular basis. Plus the skiing was better there this year than anywhere i could get to in a day’s drive from Seattle. Everybody whines about the housing market down there, but i’m not a home-buyer – i’m a throw-money-down-a-hole renter – so whoop-dee-do to that. Anyway, don’t anyone get all panicky that i’m jumping ship on Seattle; the proliferation of Starbucks in any other urban area still isn’t up to my standards.

Just a quick shout-out to my peeps at ipodresq.com, what an excellent crew they are! My ever-stylish music machine arrived via overnight formatted and working perfectly. They even cleaned it up a bit! For $29 bucks they covered two-way DHL and the fix, and i opted for an extra $30 upgrade to a new, 15-hr battery; with it’s newly-breathed life i thought a little extra juice was worth the investment. I very much appreciate their extra effort to do a backup/restore of all my music and whatnot; when asking for a drive format i assumed a blank slate would return to me, but was pleasantly surprised to see all my playlists and song ratings smiling back at me on first power-up. All-around a sweet deal, and they were excellent to both me and my little white plastic friend. I recommend them wholly.

In other gadgets-that-fit-in-my-pockets news, i swung by one of the numerous T-Mobile kiosks in northgate mall yesterday for some GPRS fiddling. My wireless data service has been all crabby lately, preventing me from googling things or checking my paypal balance from completely inappropriate places, and – as i predicted – a simple SMS from the mothership put all the settings right again in short order. It took me some wandering to find the “official corporate” T-Mobile kiosk that could perform this service, though, as i casually counted 4 T-Mobile branded phone kiosks and at least 8 total wireless gadget-islands in the relatively short stretch of the mall’s main hall. That is in addition to the numerous stores incorporating often-unrelated cellphone vendors (i’m looking at you, Kitt Camera). A bit of an overdose, i say. It is no wonder there are 3rd graders running around with cameraphones, nor that it’s the fastest growing industry in america right now. And does anyone else find it amusing that people will pay $2.49 for a 30-second ringtone but won’t pay more than 99 cents for a downloaded track (ala iTunes)? It’s obviously all due to marketing, as the carrier technology and handsets offered here in the states are a paltry embarassement by both european and pacific rim standards. It’s certainly not because the carriers really want you to have a good experience. With all the choices and the endless, proliferating blitz from the big names, it’s not an easy call to make (ha ha, i am a clever punster). It’s a lesser-of-four-evils decision between the Big Pink, Orange dancing guy, call-dropping-R-us, and Can You Hear Me Now?. I won’t hate you for making a wrong decision… but CDMA is not the future.

As long as we’re talking about crap marketing that belies an even crappier product, let’s talk about the arches that are not really so much golden as they are weather-stained and painted with cheap yellow lacquer. Yes, i’m referring to the home of Grimace and the Secret Sauce (which, incidentally, sounds like a good band name. Or an inane children’s book). Although you won’t find a free finger in your chili (which would at least guarantee there’s some actual meat in the food) you might still find yourself “Lovin’ It”, or so the marketing machine says. Even the menthol-cool stylings of J. Timberlake can’t make that slogan sound like anything other than the same industrial-strength brainwashing agent used to make people believe there’s a slice of something cow-related under that rubber pickle. Personally, i find Steve’s interpretations of the aforementioned abomination to slogan-writing much less stomach-turning than the original. Now if only there was a way to make the food less stomach-turning… but alas, in america, we are gluttons for punishment… in every sense of the word.

Cartoon theme songs; short but persistent

Got a call from Mom at 8am this morning, they’re on the road! I’m down in burien working, but only until noon, then it’s home to straighten up the house and put another load of towels in the dryer, and otherwise get ready for them to be here! Incidentally, Mom called on the new phone which is super-duper cool. Found a sweet transformers pic for it, thanx Jhonny!

Put the new phone on silent last nite to catch Spike & Mike’s animation fest at the Varisty theatre up on the Ave with Josh and Kim. A couple very funny toons, and a bunch of really strange ones, and one that was kinda sad… pretty cool, overall. My fav was i think Happy Tree Friends. It looks cutsey but it’s not – it’s very much like Itchy & Scratchy of Simpsons fame, in fact i wonder whether one inspired the other. Really funny, and the high-pitched giggly theme song is still stuck in my head today… “La la la, lala la la, la la la, lala la la…” Augh! Make the madness stop!

Easter and UPS Tracking Numbers

I’m coming to you on this rainy tuesday from the breakfast table, racing against time to type something interesting and still eat my bowl of special K before it gets too soggy. According to ups tracking, my neato new phone is supposed to arrive today. I really just want to sit at home and play ssx tricky until it shows up, but i’ll probably go to work… ugh. I need to go visit the offices in burien (south seattle) this week, but i hate going down there almost as much as i hate driving to kent – it’s just a sucky drive, and when i get there nothing works like it’s supposed to. Plus i always seem to get in car accidents in that part of town. Well, ok, it only happened once, but i’m entirely creeped out down there now about it.

Mom, Dad and Danielle will be here thursday afternoon for a long weekend. It’ll be cool to have them here, hopefully the weather will be as nice as it was last weekend and we’ll be able to hit a bunch of the fun stuff. I already have tickets for a Mariners game saturday nite – my birthday present to myself. I still have two more nites to finish cleaning the house…

Haven’t been getting much done on the cleaning front so far cause i haven’t been home an evening since, like, march. Went to Dave’s last nite to help Matt finish up Ian’s transmission. At least, that was the plan, until we figured out a banjo bolt that connects the clutch master cylinder was missing. It’s a special order part, won’t be in for a few days, and none of the local places had anything similar enough. So it’s mostly put back together, other than the master cylinder (obviously) and a few under-hood parts (battery, supercharger piping) that would be in the way. But the pedals are all there, the tranny is in, and it shifts – although third is a little sketchy. I think it’s just stuck, nothing a running engine and moving car won’t fix. Fourth works just fine, and it’s on the same actuator. I keep telling Ian that, but he’s worried that it’s not going to work once we get it all together. In that case, i think Matt’s and my advice would be ‘take it to a transmission shop!’

Sunday was a lovely Easter lunch/dinner feast with Adam, Lindsey, Mike and Donna. My contribution was two bottles of wine, both with a story: a bottle of Rosemount shiraz that Tim and Carol introduced me to, and a Due Uve – an italian white – that my wine expert Michelle McL recommended. Both were great, i drank quite a bit of both of them…. 😉 I was up early that morning for Easter mass at a very beautiful cathedral that is only two blocks from my house – ‘so those are the church bells that keep waking me up!’ – and had breakfast with Josh downtown at the Cyclops. It was a beautiful, sunny, excellent Easter sunday!

Wednesday nite Josh, Kim and myself are headed to an animated film festival in the U district that’s supposed to be killer-funny. So that pretty much leaves tonite for me to finish my laundry and clean the house… but why do i suspect i’m going to spend all nite playing with the new phone…?

Or standing in line at the county administration building…

Got an email from Mom today saying she’d like to see a new entry… parents can be so demanding! 😉

DJ and i ordered a bunch of tuning parts for our mini RC cars, and they arrived yesterday, so i spent my evening working on a 2″ car (for a change). It’s so fast now! I have a bunch of pics i’ll throw up this weekend, if i get a chance. I’m really behind on the pic posting, apologies for that.

Picked up John at the naval station in everett yesterday morning, he appears to have survived his tour at sea, despite the general incompetence of a large number of his shipmates. Welcome back, man, and thanx for breakfast! He has a few weeks at home before it’s back-on-the-boat, so we’re going to try and make the most of it. Translation: we’re going to do some stuff to his car. 😉

I’m not in the habit of quoting someone else’s content, but i though this was funny and annoyingly true:

    The NEW open-source software business model:

      1) Write free stuff.

      2) ???

      3) Sell tech support to your family.

      4) Profit!

    As opposed to the previous open-source business model:

      1) Write free stuff.

      2) ???

      3) Get supported by your family.

      4) Profit!

So does this mean i’m adapting to the times? 😉 Speaking of the times, i’m finally going to join the world of high-tech mobile phone users… ordered a new wireless handset yesterday, a nokia 7210. At last, ringtones that i choose and a model series that hasn’t been discontinued! I’m feeling very high-tech and geekish, super excited for that to get here.

Working late tonite on a side project with a woman at work, a web site for the ceo. I get paid overtime for it, so i don’t mind doing it, but it has been a bit disorganized and that frustrates me, plus i’m just not very artistically inspired to make a website about someone else’s high school class reunion. I’ve been struggling with visual content, that and it’s supposed to talk with an access database and i royally despise micro$oft access in all its forms, not real jacked about getting that to work. Ugh. But i get paid for it. And i guess there’s about a million worse things i could be doing for money. (Ahem. Adjusting insurance claims!)

Telegrams, carrier pigeon and smoke signals are OK too.

Gabe called me this morning while i was in the shower. Obviously, i didn’t answer the phone… but i did call him back. He was supposed to ship out to texas or somewhere with the Air Force today, but he’s been bumped back a week. So i guess that’s another week of me not getting any sleep. 🙂 It may turn out to be more than a week, in which case i’ll enlist him for another civic duty… helping me move! I’m hoping to get a key on the 23rd (which reminds me, i should call the new roomies – Josh and Kim – and make sure that’s okay) and i don’t plan on giving any more money to the dilapidated chaos that is my apartment building. I’m moving to a great house that’s only about a mile away, closer to the downtown-y part of West Seattle (the Junction district). The only thing the new place doesn’t have is a garage, but i don’t have that now, so no biggie. Oh, and i guess it doesn’t have a dishwasher. But i’ll happily trade that in for the washer and dryer in the basement. No more quarters – yeess! I’m excited to move, Josh and Kim are very cool, and my bedroom’s on the ground floor, so i don’t have to carry anything up any stairs! [sigh of relief]

For those of you that actually have my landline number, might as well throw it away, as i’m likely dropping it. I’ll get an email out to everyone with the new addy this week, or just drop me a line and i’ll send it to you (if, perchance, you want to send me a housewarming gift or something…). I actually got my cell working again yesterday, thanks to a great deal on ebay. So my phone broke last week, totally dead, couldn’t even get it to pick up a signal. And no, it wasn’t something i did! [scowl] Verizon wanted 20 bucks for a new one if i signed a 2 year contract, or 50 bucks with a 1 year extension. Well i found the same phone (just as new) on ebay for 52 (shipped) with no contract extension. And then on the phone with them switching the ESNs, they tried to get me to take an unlimted text messaging plan that would have extended my contract a year. Um, how about NO. Yeah, so i digress. But it works again, so call me there. Or email me from here. Or whatever. Just try not to be so uncommunicative, m-kay? Slackers…

You can expect a text message from me… now.

Okay, it’s Friday again. Another week gone by. I don’t have nearly as much energy to burn this week. I’m doing fine, life is good, job is ‘eh’. Putting Josh on a plane tomorrow for his two-week trip to Chicago. Also, the cable modem tech from at&t should stop by this weekend and make that stupid thing finally work. Oh, and Verizon fixed my cell phone (actually, they gave me a new one) so I can send text messages back to you now. It’s pretty neato – I’m already driving most of my local friends crazy with it. Other than that, not much in the way of news… at least, that I can tell you about here 😉 But I promise that as soon as the lottery announces the winners, the book deal goes through, I join the Evil Empire, or I get selected for the Real World, I’ll let you all know first.